What you'll find: The 259 acre park has nine fields. It has eight tennis courts (fee), eight handball/ paddleball courts, two basketball courts, two softball fields and four soccer fields (fee, permit)
Not only are there spacious fields to practice sports, but the park has various paths meant for running, walking or biking. The park has 1.5-mile and 1-mile paths along with a bicycle path
that stretches to Jones Beach. It also features gazebos and barbecue areas with easily accessible restrooms close to each field.
As long as visitors bring their own equipment, they can practice archery. Also, a roller rink is open year-round and during the winter, visitors can use the large hills to sled down. Two fairly large playgrounds will keep the kids busy. And, of course, the dog park is an added feature.
What people are doing: Linda Ciccolella, 45, of Bellmore, and her husband, Dennis Hernandez, set up their lawn chairs and come here about ever other week and stay up to two hours each time. Linda said that sometimes she rides her bike while her husband runs. They have been coming to the park for a couple years.
"We're relaxing before going out for Father's day," she said. They both agreed that the best part of the park is that it's not over crowded and more of a low-key location.
Others come to Cedar Creek Park for a different reason. These two friends come to train for the coastguard. Kathy Kelly, 18, and Samantha Edell, 18, both residents of Hicksville, run three miles, three times per week, and finish off by doing sit ups, push ups and crunches. Normally, they spend 45 to 60 minutes training each day.
"There are different paths that you can run and you'll see the water," Edell said. She and her friend simultaneously agreed that it's a great area to have barbecues with friends.
Local sports leagues also visit the park frequently. Keri Rosalia, 25, of Levitown, throw a softball back and forth to her teammate just before heir game. Every Sunday, the group formed a coed softball league five years ago and has been taking advantage of one of the fields at the park.
"This place is more convenient and close to home," Rosalia said. They started the league for something to do on the weekends and to stay active.
For the dogs: This well-kept Nassau County park has side-by-side fenced areas for small and large dogs. It's small enough for owners to all know each other. The entire park offers loads of other amenities, but dogs are not allowed in any county parks, preserves or facilities. In terms of cons, there's little natural shade and in terms of room to roam and sprint, these runs are on the small side.
Michael Thabet, 31, of North Merrick, spends time with his father and his hyper 4-year-old boxer Jervis at the dog run on Father's Day.
"The dog loves it," his father, Ed Thabet, 62, said. "Leave them in an environment like this and they learn how to socialize."
There is an available archery range and secluded aerodrome field designed for radio-controlled model airplanes. But just so you know, an "Academy of Model Aeronautics" card
is required for a permit. The park's tether-car race track allows $500 to $2,000 cars to race at speeds of up to 200 mph. But this area is currently closed for maintenance.
Ernie Schack, 84, of East Meadow
, usually spends three to four hours at Lufbery Aerodrome, home of radio control flying, at least once per week. He said that the camaraderie of the members is why he likes this area of the park.
"A bunch of nice people fly out here," he said.
Schack was Mike Lobozza's instructor. Locozza, 73, of East Meadow
, thinks that this field is like no other.
"We fly into the wind and if the wind changes direction, we go over to the second runway," he said. " We can fly four different ways, we're very lucky."
Five airplanes are allowed up in the air at a time, but each plane is allotted 15 minutes of flying time in order to give others a chance. The two men explained that few members design their own planes, so most buy a model that is ready for take off. And they are always looking for more members. There's a Take Off and Grow introductory pilot program for children. But don't worry, an experienced instructor is able to discontinue use if a child is not using a plane correctly.
Dawn to dusk, weather permitting.
Special permit required for alcohol beverages, permits required to use most fields